Detroit News reporter to receive fairness award for Muslim community coverage

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News
Mark Hicks

Detroit — The Michigan Muslim Community Council on Sunday will present Detroit News reporter Mark Hicks with a media fairness award.

Hicks, a reporter for The News since 2005, has extensively covered the Muslim community including the Muslim reaction to the 2016 presidential election, annual Mitzvah Day interfaith efforts across Metro Detroit and the holy month of Ramadan.

"At a time when religious and other minorities face more discrimination and marginalization... it is imperative to remain engaged in the community, stay informed about the issues affecting them, dispel myths, and accurately portray people who have contributed much to our society,” Hicks said.

Hicks, 35, grew up on Michigan’s west side and started reporting in 1998 for his hometown newspaper, The Muskegon Chronicle, at 15. While studying journalism at Michigan State University, Hicks wrote stories for The State News, the student-run newspaper, and he later covered crime, breaking news and nonprofits during internships at the Flint Journal and the Grand Rapids Press.

When Hicks joined The News, he staffed its Neighborhood News section. He later moved to a general assignment beat that included coverage of religion and minority affairs for southeast Michigan’s ethnic communities.

The Michigan Muslim Community Council, formed in 2012 when the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan and the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan merged, works to promote unity and cooperation among Muslim American communities, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and races by unifying, convening and mobilizing the Muslim community.

"MMCC also aims to pursue social justice, improve human relations and uphold human rights in America," said Sumaiya Ahmed Sheikh, executive director of the council, in an award letter to Hicks. "We here at the council value the long relationship we have with you and the media community, which has been an invaluable asset to our interfaith, advocacy and community efforts over the years,"

Hicks is expected to receive the award Sunday at the council's 32nd annual Unity Banquet at Burton Manor in Livonia.